The Real Definition of Good Health

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In 1948, the World Health Organization defined good health as; “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

This definition of health is as valid today as it was back in 1948. Although the WHO may have changed its definition since then, the state of health for many today is bleak. Diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease are increasing rapidly around the world and no one seems to have any idea how to cure diseases other than treating them with drugs and surgery.

Ask anyone on the street and you’ll probably get the answer that to them, health means the absence of pain and illness. Many say they are healthy, even though they take a pharmacy full of drugs and medication to make themselves feel that way.

Over the years, more and more people have embraced the Western diet, a diet of highly refined foods fortified with sodium, sugar, fat and chemical additives. A highly stressed lifestyle combined with bad habits such as smoking and pollutants in food, air and water ensure that the quality of life is severely impaired. There is little point in living longer if those extra years are filled with pain and disease.

Today’s diseases are the result of wrong lifestyle habits. Aside from the fact that most diets are high in fat, most products on supermarket shelves are severely depleted of the essential vitamins and minerals that were abundant in the diets of those who lived a hundred years ago. Today’s food is mass-produced and comes from farms whose soils have been sterilized and robbed of minerals. Food should look good and have a long shelf life, but should not be produced in a way that promotes health.

Today’s medical establishment projects the idea that illness is part of life and inevitable. The older you get, the sicker you get and the more you need medical intervention. But the truth is, a healthy body doesn’t get sick. A body with a strong immune system has many checks and balances that ensure good health is maintained. Even today you can find centenarians who don’t need crutches to get around, or languish in a children’s home, waiting for the bliss of death to take them. Health is not only hereditary.

These centenarians don’t have any special health genes that help them live that long. What they have is what is lacking in the lives of the majority of people today. These healthy old people are active. They eat fresh fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods and low in simple carbohydrates. They get fresh air and don’t smoke or drink excessively. You will likely find that they live in their own homes and get around without walkers or canes.

Maintaining good health must begin with believing that it is possible to get and stay healthy by adopting a good lifestyle. Unfortunately, few people have the incentive to make these changes. A stressed and hurried lifestyle does not allow many to stop and take stock of themselves and goals for future well-being.

With all that we have discovered about how the body works and its ability to heal itself, there is no excuse why anyone should continue to lead an unhealthy lifestyle that diminishes the quality of life. The very definition of good health is a complete change in lifestyle through eating well, exercising regularly, living a relatively stress-free life, getting enough sleep, and quitting cigarettes and drugs. This would reduce the epidemics of today’s modern diseases and restore the balance and joy that life was meant to be.

Thanks to Mario G Carini

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